kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan

Kanjoin Temple by kengo kuma 

 

On the edge of Okurayama Ridge in Yokohama, Japan, Kengo Kuma and Associates has rebuilt a reception hall for ‘Kanjoin Temple’ of Shingon Buddhism. The project sees a sculptural wooden structure next to the adjacent temple hall built over 100 years ago, adding a modern and sustainable twist to the sacred area. The design team opted for a monumental structure with deep eaves, a welcoming gesture that invites the local community under one roof. 

 

The architecture creates a dynamic form composed of a series of wooden louvers, the upper end of which is placed in a linear arrangement while the lower part ends at a different height. This seemingly abstract organization creates a pleasing illusion as if the slats float in the air, introducing generous curves underneath the long eaves.‘ A set of laminated cedar louvers that follow a gradual slope wrap around the space like a membrane. Inspired by the decoration rafters of the main building featuring a traditional wooden architectural style, we proposed a new type of soft and modern under-eave space,’ shared the architects.

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
all images by ©︎ Masaki Hamada / Kkpo

 

 

a dynamic addition to the century-old temple 

 

The wooden envelope plays with geometries and space perception, creating a 7-meter-deep area under the eaves, serving as a gathering place that fosters social interaction and communication. To maintain the serenity of the place, the architects strategically opted for low openings at the entrance hall, making the place suitable for religious activities.

 

The team at Kengo Kuma sought to create a smooth circulation between the spaces, connecting the lobby to the high-ceilinged main temple hall through various floor levels that follow the unevenly sloped grounds of Okurayama. Regarding materiality, the interior is infused with traditional Japanese elements, such as washi paper and wooden rails introducing delicate and light spaces enclosed in shoji screens. Partition walls on the second floor double as construction elements, achieving a pillar-less 10m space.

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
Yokohama is Kengo Kuma’s hometown

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
the upper end of the wooden slats are placed in a linear arrangement, while the lower parts end at a different height

kanjoin-temple-kengo-kuma-yokohama-japan-designboom-51800

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
the sculptural formation plays with geometries and space

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
the cedar louvers wrap around the building like a membrane

kanjoin-temple-kengo-kuma-yokohama-japan-designboom-001800

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan
the new structure invites the local community under one roof

kengo kuma's sculptural wooden structure adds a modern twist to kanjoin temple in japan

kanjoin-temple-kengo-kuma-yokohama-japan-designboom-1800
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project info:

 

name: Kanjoin Temple

architects: Kengo Kuma and Accossiates (KKAA)

design team: Satoshi Onomichi, Naoki Nitta, Koichi Hirabayashi, Yohei Mochizuki, Yoo Shiho
construction: Nakashima Construction Co., Ltd.
cooperation: Ejiri Structural Engineers
facility: Kankyo Engineering

area: 473 sqm
photography: ©︎ Masaki Hamada / Kkpo

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